Situated in historic Shockoe Bottom, this project transforms the 1930’s Lucky Strike Tobacco power plant into a vibrant, day-lit headquarters for Arts & Letters Creative Co., a branding and marketing agency based in Richmond. Arts & Letters has an open, collaborative working method and they do much of the design and production work in house, with creative, direction/production, writers, and video and graphics production taking place all under one roof. Our approach respects the existing historic brick and tile building by removing all existing non-useable elements and creating a clean pair of white program insertions to capture the additional working and making spaces for this dynamic company. The building envelope with its large steel windows and skylights provides abundant natural light and these new white program and functional elements establish a dialogue with the patina and palimpsest of the existing forms and surfaces. The top sides of each of the two major program blocks create open office areas and a large internal amphitheater space, the underside provide quieter meeting and team space required by a 160-person team. The lowest level spaces were all reserved for dark room areas, photo and digital production areas and projection/screening rooms, taking full advantage of the existing building’s arrangement in relation to natural light.


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